decus, integritas, probitas

Winner of Two Hersh Best Read On The Net Awards

Now reaching informed readers in America, Canada, Ireland, England, Scotland, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Russia & Australia

Volume 5, No. 14

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Seattle, Washington

Merritt Scott Miller, Editor

Dennis William Steussy, Associate Editor

Hi again, from the shores of the Salish Sea.  We would, of course, like to wish our Christian and Jewish readers a Happy Easter and a Good Passover, respectively.  Because the staff of the Northstar Journal represents several faiths and the eleven flags we now reach certainly do, it’s been our policy not to “lean” too much on any single celebration.

Evangelical American humorist Mike Warnke, who is also aVietnam veteran, talks about this atheist he befriended in boot camp.  Mike said at least the guy was an atheist when they started.  However, by the time they got their orders to “Marlboro Country,” this non-believer was wearing around his neck a crucifix, a Star of David, a crescent and star, a rabbit’s foot and a Dream Catcher.  When Mike, who actually got “reborn” in boot camp, asked his friend what was up with that, his buddy said, “Man, where we’re going, I can’t afford to make Anybody mad at me.”

Implicit in this, I hope is that we here at the Northstar Journal respect all faiths which respect one another.  None of us, I don’t believe, needs to be reminded of the bloody pantheon which results when they do not.


A 594-page United Nations report authored by 220 scientists in 62 countries contends that human pollution is accelerating global warming and causing the dramatic extremes in climate we are experiencing.  Juliet Eilperin and Brian Vastag of the Washington Post report.

Economic recovery in the USappears to be slowing down.  New jobs in March were about half what they were the previous three months.  The New York Times Motoko Rich reports.

As that Texas-sized mass of Japan tsunami and quake flotsam continues riding the currents east across the North Pacific Ocean, the US Coast Guard sank by gunfire another victim of that disaster.  The derelict commercial squid-fishing vessel will now rest at the bottom of the sea some 180 miles off the coast of Sitka, Alaska.  Seattle’s Q13 Fox News reports.


Fifteen architects, artists and planners recently convened a panel discussion at the University of British Columbia’s School of Landscapeand Architecture.  In a fascinating article headlined Five Paradigm Shifts to Enhance a City, The Tyee reports.

Ottawa last month announced that due to budgetary considerations, the penny would be discontinued.  The National Post staff traces the 154 year history of Canada’s smallest denomination.

What is the Passover – Easter connection?  The National Post’s Tristin Hopper fills us in.


Personal experience has taught me never to underestimate the power of young people to make a real difference.  The parents of this one can be very proud.  Seattle’s KING5 News reports.

Students on a small American college campus are making a difference to one of the poorest places on earth.  Eric Wilkinson, of KING5 News, reports.

We note the passing of American television journalist Mike Wallace, of 60 minutes fame.  Brian Stelter of the New York Times reports.


Imagine cities like New York, Parisand Beijingsuddenly without people.  Two very innovative photographers have done exactly that.  Atlantic Cities’ John Metcalf reports.

There is perhaps nothing more ubiquitous on the urban scene than the parking meter.  Who was responsible for the metropolitan icon and how did it become so popular?  Atlantic Cities’ Amanda Erickson reports.

What is it that looks like a very small car but is not and can go 80 miles on 6¢ worth of electricity?  Grist magazine’s Christopher Mims reports.


Well, it turns out that even the worst counties in Washington State are still better than many places in the rest of America to live.

Check out how giving up sugar could take 20 years off your looks.  

What do you do if your life partner tells you that they really do love you, just not in ‘that’ way anymore?

Center For Disease Control Disease FAQs Index
Tips and Tools For Staying Young
Weight Watchers:  Calculate Your Body Mass Index


Thousands of women are undergoing unnecessary treatment for breast cancer, according to a study recently released by America’s Harvard School of Public Health.

Cancer:  What You Need to Know
American Cancer Society
Canadian Cancer Society
Cancer Research Journal
National Cancer Institute (American)
Fighting Breast Cancer: Breast Cancer Survivor Stories
Science Daily:  Health & Medicine News


Online dating services have proliferated in the first decade of this new century and with some success.  But as the technology evolves, is it enough to identify a potential paramour based solely on a shared fondness for the same musical group?  The New York Times’ Jenna Wortham reports.



A home surveillance camera caught this pet cat opening the freezer.



Animal Tracks is msnbc.com’s Critter Stuff.  They feature stories of every facet of the creature kingdom from the domestic to the primordial.  This is a great stress buster for me and a profound pick-me-up if I’m having a “poor me” day.


The Foundation For A Better Life produces 15 – 90 second inspirational videos equaling ~ if not surpassing ~ the video vignettes produced by Hallmark, Folgers Coffee and Campbell Soup.  Three I’d recommend right off the top are Concert, The Class Room and Spirit of America.

Oh America – Celtic Woman expresses their love and mine forAmerica.


Kids Page:  If you enjoy learning about the places, people and things which make life on this planet such a unique experience?

Space Pictures

Video Page is the diversion the doctor ordered If you’re looking for a video experience that will definitely take you out of wherever you are and you don’t mind your reality coming at you in relatively short bursts (about long enough to keep a fussing child occupied).


Daily Crossword:  This one from Universal has two levels.  It is extremely easy to use and it has some features like music and clues that we thought were pretty cool.

Tank Hunter – This puts you behind the controls of a tank on a vast battlefield in which everything from small tanks to big ones to invisible ones is shooting at you.  Definitely the best game play of its type I have personally encountered.

Vocabulary Quiz:  Take this 10-word daily test and see how you rank with people your age, younger and older.

Word Games:  Merriam Webster has a totally creative menu.


The Northstar General Store is a truly unique online shopping experience and reflects what you, the readers, have said interests you the most.  Whether it’s a specialty food item for that proverbial someone who has everything else or just to browse with some discretionary capital to spend on a whim, you’ll find everything from quality camping gear to interesting CDs, DVDs and books to totally fun and otherwise useless toys, women and men’s apparel and a wide variety of other items and wares you simply will not find under a single roof anywhere else on the Net.  And by shopping here, you help us pay our bills.  To enter and check it out, please click the picture of the store above.

The Northstar Photo Gallery features photography ofSeattle available as postcards, computer wallpaper and workspace art.

Wrath of the Testament, an exciting seagoing saga of war and rebellion, is now available for $3.99 at amazon.com.

Writer/Editor For Hire for everything from business letters to data entry to editing and proofing, to speech writing and special projects, you’ll find it here at negotiable rates.  I don’t consider any request too small and I don’t take on any that are too large.  For a full list of services and more information, please go here.


It was 30 feet long, weighed 3,000 pounds, lived 60-million years before Tyrannosaurus Rex and had feathers.  John Noble Wilford of the New York Times reports.

These Frozen Planet photographers got a lot more than they expected when they dropped cameras through the ice to get some footage of whales.  Some orcas decided to check them out instead.

It appears that Antarctica’s ecosystem is changing as interest in the largely frozen continent brings an increasingly greater influx of scientists and tourists.  The National Geographic Daily News reports.

Animal Tracks is msnbc.com’s Critter Stuff.  They feature stories of every facet of the creature kingdom from the domestic to the primordial.
Oceana:  The National Geographic of the World’s Oceans
How to Behave Around Bears
Seattle/Lake Washington Eagle Camera
National Wildlife Magazine
Go Northwest:  Northwest Wildlife Websites
BBC’s wildlife finder
National Geographic Daily News – Animals


People keep trying to talk me out of my commitment not to fly until or unless I get my own wings.  Reading about how a snake of (at the time) unknown toxicity managed to get into this twin engine Beechcraft and not be discovered until it started peeking out of the instrument panel in flight does NOT help. 

Well, that’s about it for this week.  As a final word, The Northstar Journal is supported by contributions from readers like yourselves so if you enjoyed what you read here and would like to toss a dollar or two in the pot, as it were, please go here.

Take care, stay well and God Bless.

Merritt Scott (Rusty) Miller



About minstrel312

MERRITT SCOTT MILLER Bio Wrath of the Testament Author and Northstar Journal editor Merritt Scott (Rusty) Miller is a former newspaper reporter who has published extensively in the Pacific Northwest and several times nationally. A U.S. Navy veteran of the Vietnam War, he began his career in the alternative media of the mid-Seventies. His own Sacramento-based monthly ~ Rapline ~ drew praise from Sacramento BEE metro columnist Herb Michelson in a column published that that newspaper; and from Berkeley Film Quarterly editor and author of the bestsellers Ecotopia and Ecotopia Emerging, Ernest Callenbach. A Northern California native with roots in British Columbia, Mr. Miller has written for several Northwest community newspapers, United Press International, the daily Portland Oregonian and for such Seattle publications as the Post-Intelligencer, The Seattle Press and the University Herald. As an investigative reporter for the McMinnville, Oregon News-Register ~ and in conjunction with CBS News in New York, Washington, DC and Flagstaff, Arizona ~ Mr. Miller localized a story of alleged Contra gun-running by an international air freight company headquartered in that Willamette Valley community. During the 1987 Angel Complex Fire in southern Oregon, Mr. Miller worked as the lead dispatcher for the U.S. Forest Service and covered the disaster for National Public Radio and as a special writer for the Portland, Oregonian. His 1988 series on child abuse for a rural weekly earned him praise from the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association. In his career as a journalist, Mr. Miller has interviewed a Nobel peace laureate; an internationally renowned abstract artist; a popular folksinger and various Pacific Northwest elected officials, include a state treasurer and governor. An accomplished travel book writer, Mr. Miller has penned demographic and feature copy for the “Best Choices” series on Eastern Washington, British Columbia, Virginia, South Carolina and Atlanta. As either a contract or staff publicist, he has served a host of clients including the Olympia Music Festival, Umpqua Valley Community Hospital, the City of Canyonville, the Tiller Ranger District, The English School, the Yamhill County Board of Commissioners, Yamhill County Assessor Kim Worrell and Workers of Oregon Development. His freelance publications include: United Press International, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the Portland Oregonian, Forest World, American Trucking, Trucks, Oregon Adventures, Oregon Education, Old Oregon, The Entertainer, the Seattle Press, the San Juan Island Sounder, Northwest Passage, Northwest Connection, Seattle Source, Seattle Forum, the University of Colorado’s Writers Forum, Clouds, The long Beach Literary Journal and the Pacific Media Group. He has worked since the age of 13 and has been a hop harvester, professional musician, civil servant, forester, convenience market clerk, lumber mill worker, temporary word processor, technical writer and editor. He has also led a social services research and development team and has six years of radio and telephone communications experience. His interests include astronomy, aviation, camping, Canada, communications, conversation, cooking, dancing, economic development, education, environmentalism, exploration, film/DVDs, fine dining, government, green technology, health. History, human rights, International community, Internet media, law, literature, marine engineering & design, medicine, music, nature, networking, outdoors, pets, photography, romance, science, sexuality, technology, travel, water, wildlife His honors and awards include: Letter of Appreciation - Amnesty International; US Senator Patti Murray Letter of Appreciation for The Northstar Journal Blog; Editors Choice, International Library of Poetry; Congressman Edward Murray Letter of Appreciation; Congressman Frank Chopp Letter of Appreciation; Hersch Best Read on the Net Award for The Northstar Journal; President Bill Clinton Letter of Appreciation; Workers Of Oregon Development Certificate of Appreciation; City of Canyonville Police Department Certificate of Appreciation; City of Canyonville Mayor’s Office Certificate of Appreciation; California Supreme Court Justice Rose Bird Letter of Appreciation; Northwest Magazine Editorial Board Letter of Appreciation for Rain; Editorial Award, Society of Professional Journalists; Sacramento Bee Metro Column; Honor Roll: California State University Long Beach; Deans List: Long Beach City; Mr. Miller currently resides in Seattle, Washington, where he continues to edit and publish The Northstar Journal. He is working on two novels concurrently and a sequel to Wrath of the Testament.
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